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Authors: Carina Wilder

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“Yes, yes, yes, oh God
, yes.” I was only whispering, but I felt as though the whole house must know what was happening.

He didn’t let up; he may have been drowning for all I knew, but he wouldn’t
come up for air until
I
came.

And I did.

A series of hard shudders overtook my body and with a burst of chemicals shooting down my spine, all my energy focused on the firm and delicate flesh that Tristan was tending so deliciously with his tongue. I closed my eyes and gave myself over to him, this perfect man with his perfect mouth eating my…

“Nikki?” The voice pulled me violently out of the moment. It was Joanna, one of the candidates. She’d wandered silently to the edge of the pool and was staring down at us.

“Swimming in your clothes?”

I felt something happen now under the water, between my legs.
Oh God, Tristan. What are you doing?

Suddenly the figure whose face had been lovingly planted b
etween my thighs had shifted.

I was in the pool with a wolf.

He began to tear around under the water, dog-paddling from end to end.

“Sort of
swimming, yeah. We were just horsing around. Well, wolfing around,” I said, apologetically pointing to the creature who was with me. Tristan shot his head up and panted, looking almost cute for a giant, menacing beast. I noticed his torn swimsuit floating in the water some distance away.

“Joanna, would you mind grabbing us a couple of towels?
This was sort of a last-minute idea, the jumping in the pool thing.”

“Um, sure.
” With that she went into the house. I knew that she must suspect something but it was too late to do anything about it now. The good news was that the setting sun meant that she wouldn’t have seen much.

Tristan
swam up to me, quickly shifting back into a human. He pressed himself against me and his hard cock slid between my thighs, slipping along the flesh of my sensitive pussy.

“Oh my God,” I said. “I so want you to fuck me. I need you inside me. This is torture.”

“I know. I
will
be inside you. At some point I need to be with you, Nikki. I don’t care about rules. I’ve never wanted something so much in my life.”

He pushed away from me as Joanna emerged from the house with two large towels. She handed one to each of us and I suspect that she shot a glance at
Tristan’s cock under the pool’s rippling water. I could only hope that she didn’t have good night vision.

 

That night, Julia came in from her date after I’d gone to bed. I was sure that the other women would be up to greet her with jealous questions and to flit around in front of the camera, but I was happy to wait to hear about it, and chose instead to sleep.

The next morning I went for my private interview
before my roommate was awake. As I walked down the hall to the isolated room, butterflies took up residence in my stomach in anticipation of seeing Tristan again; I just needed to be near him. I’d realized in the night that we still hadn’t kissed and I was desperate to feel his lips on mine.

I could
wait to do that and to touch him if I had to, but I needed to lay my eyes on him, and soon. Just going to bed, thinking about him, his smell permeating the air around me, I found myself building fantasies, not only of taking him as I wanted to, but of a life in the future when I could be with him. There was a bond between us and I was beginning to believe it to be unbreakable.

When I sat down
in the interview chair, Tristan stayed back. He only permitted himself a brief smile before launching into the usual questions: how was I feeling about Craig, how did things look from my angle and so on.

“Are you beginning to have real feelings, would you say?” asked
Tristan. I noticed with this question he didn’t add “about Craig.”

“I am. I really think I am.”

“I noticed that you gave the date to Julia. Was that part of your strategy?”

“Absolutely. She’s a good friend and I want to keep her around. But I knew that I was safe as well, and the only thing that really matters to me now is that I stay here. If I had to leave now I’d be devastated.”

With that last word I made eye contact with Tristan, who stared back into my eyes, an intensity in his gaze that I was growing used to. I felt his inner wolf straining against the human in him and my own instincts were fighting my dignified exterior, telling me again to rise from the chair and to rip the clothes from the man, to take him on the floor, against the wall, in the chair, in front of the cameraman while being taped, even.

If Craig was in fact the alpha of the pack, I wondered, why didn’t I find him more appealing? I would have thought that most women are excited by the strongest, fastest, superior
member of a pack. But to me, Tristan was king; he was better by far. There was no one stronger, more beautiful…more sexy.

“Do you see yourself spending the rest of your life with this man?” asked
Tristan. “After all, you haven’t known him long.”

“It’s the strangest thing,” I answered slowly. “
No, I haven’t known him long, but the first moment I saw him something happened to me---inside me. I feel…it’s stupid to say, I know. But I feel that we were meant to be together.”

The cameraman, whose presence I’d forgotten, spoke up now.

“Nikki, you have to look at the camera. You keep looking at Tristan. Let’s try that last take again.”

With that, I repeated my words, my breath a little clipped as I fought my body’s desires. I knew that I was essentially announcing to the world that I was falling in love with our producer; that I was saying how much I wanted him, and I was proud and delighted with it. And I was happy that he knew. I only wished I could interview him in turn: “How do you feel about her? How many times a day would you fuck her if you could?
How much do you want to feel her mouth on you?” But that time would come, at least I hoped it would.

 

As we were finishing up there was a knock at the door. I assumed that it was the next girl waiting her turn. Tristan went to answer it and when the door opened I was shocked.

It
was Craig.

The two men stood facing each other in the doorway and I
heard a low growl emanating from Tristan. Oh, crap. This wasn’t good; from a purely practical standpoint, the doorway was far too narrow for a giant wolf to get through, not to mention that a fight in this place would mean thousands of dollars of equipment ruined, let alone the danger to the cameraman and me.

“What the fuck did you think you were doing last night?” I heard Craig ask, a look of pure rage on his still human face.

“What are you talking about?”

“You know exactly what I’m talking about. With that, Craig looked past
Tristan into the room. With his arm he gestured towards me. “These are my women. You aren’t to touch them. I heard about what you were doing in the pool.”

“And what exactly was that, may I ask?”

“You know perfectly well, Tristan. You shouldn’t have been in the pool with Nikki in the first place, let alone naked or shifted.”

“There was no harm done,” I interrupted
, trying to calm him down. “We were just swimming.”

“Shut up,” said Craig.

Wow. I didn’t like him much to begin with, but this wasn’t helping his cause.

With that show of disrespect, I heard a
now familiar sound and Tristan lunged at Craig, shifting at the same time in a series of cracking bones and a rush of coarse fur to his skin’s surface. This took the alpha by surprise and he momentarily lost his balance before shifting himself, but his transformation came a little too late; Tristan had pawed at his pristine pretty-boy face and slashed it.

In a flurry of black and grey
the two wolves wrestled, biting at one another in a feral rage which clearly wasn’t part of any scripted plan. The fight began to move down the hall, Craig backing away from Tristan, leading him to the living room. This could end badly, I thought.

I heard screams and dishes breaking as I made my way down the hallway after them, trying to figure out what
to do. I felt angry with Craig and protective of Tristan. I wanted to throw myself between them but it seemed far too dangerous.

“Can’t you do something?” I shouted at the baffled cameraman.

“You can’t interrupt a fight with an alpha,” he said. “It’s considered a massive show of disrespect.”

“But they’ll kill each other.”

I sprang into the living room. Most of the women had been gathered there in t-shirts and yoga pants, drinking their morning coffee, most of which was spilled on the floor by the time I arrived. The candidates were now standing around like spectators at a wrestling match, a combination of horror and excitement on their faces.

Tristan
had Craig pinned on the ground, his giant jaw threatening to rip the alpha’s throat out. Part of me wished he would, but instead I approached, my right hand held out in front of me in an attempt to calm the proceedings.

“Come on now,” I said quietly. “If this happens, the show ends. Everything you two have worked on. It’s time to end this and make up.”

Tristan’s black wolf form relaxed then, preparing to back off and allow Craig to stand, but as he began to move away, the alpha took advantage of his calm to lunge at him. Tristan went careening backwards and Craig was able to pin him down, asserting his dominance.


Tristan!” I cried out, terrified that the man I adored would be killed.

Everyone turned to me now; the women, the wolves. Craig let
Tristan go at last, padding backwards, still staring at me. There was something like hatred in his eyes as he glared, and I knew that I had committed the ultimate insult by showing my preference for the second in command, and the worst part was that I’d done it in front of the women.

With that, Craig turned silently and headed for the front door. A car awaited him outside and I saw the women jog to follow him, no doubt hoping for a glimpse of his naked form
; he’d have to shift before getting into the back seat, after all.

I ran up to
Tristan, who was lying on the floor breathing heavily. He was still in wolf form and I whispered, “Let me get you something to wear.”

I ran upstairs and grabbed an oversized bathrobe from my room, and managed to get back downstairs before
Tristan had shifted. I wrapped the robe around him and in a flash he became a man again, still breathing hoarsely.

“Are you all right?” I asked.

“I am. I shouldn’t have done that. I was so fucking angry though, Nikki---the way he talked to you…”

“You don’t need to worry about me. I can look after myself.”

“It’s not about that. I know you can. There was a rage in me that built up quickly, and I just couldn’t control it.” He looked concerned, as though he was trying to psychoanalyze himself, to ensure that it wouldn’t happen again.

And then he surprised me by smiling
.

“I need to take lessons from you,” he added.

“How’s that? Lessons in what?”

“You stay calm. You don’t let your emotions take you over. You’re amazing.”

“When I thought he was going to kill you, my emotions were on the verge of…”

“Of what?”

“I don’t know, Tristan. Something happened then. I wanted to murder him. I felt like I was going to lunge at him myself, even though I knew how stupid it would be.”

I looked at him now, clothed only in the thick white robe. His gorgeous chest was displ
ayed by the partially open garment and once again I began to crave him, even as all the other emotions subsided.

“We need to get through this, you and I,” I said. “We need to get to the end. Somehow. I can’t leave here.”

“None of that was your fault, not last night, not today. I’ll see to it that you’re not punished or kicked off the show. And they won’t fire me. For one thing, I’m the only person around here who can do this job.”

“Whoever thought up the idea of a rea
lity show featuring a giant wolf shifter must have been a lunatic.”

“You know where that word comes from, don’t you? Lunatic? From the notion that changes in the moon cause temporary insanity. Fitting.”

“Seriously.”

He put a hand on my cheek now. “You’re my moon. You make me nuts.”

“And you’re mine.”

Ten
:
Genetics

 

 

In the afternoon I was told by Susan, the co-producer I’d met in Louiston, that from now on she would be conducting my interviews. I wasn’t even remotely surprised. Craig seemed so threatened by Tristan that I preferred to avoid further incidents; it wasn’t worth risking Tristan’s life or job, regardless of how much I wanted to be near him.

 

I didn’t speak to Julia about her date until later, after the chattering about the fight had let up.

“So, how was it
last night?” I asked.

“It was pretty funny. We went for dinner and dancing, which isn’t so intimate with cameras around, as you can imagine. And Craig has two---or four—left feet.”

“Oh? No Fred Astaire?”

“Hardly. He’s about as smooth on the dance floor as he is in per
son. But I got a kiss, which is what I was after. And he’s keeping me around another week, so I can thank you for that.”

“Good. I don’t think I want to lose you, particularly now.”

“I don’t know what you mean, but I assume that it has something to do with the sparring match this morning?”

“Craig insulted me and
Tristan got angry.”

“Really? You’re going to sit here and act like that’s all that happened?”

“For now, yes. That’s exactly what I’m going to do.” I wanted nothing more than to protect Tristan, even from Julia’s curious mind.

“Just be careful, honey. What happened this morning wasn’t horseplay; those two were ready to kill each other. If you’d gotten in the middle…”

“I think I already am in the middle,” I said quietly. “Anyhow, tonight’s elimination. I’m glad you and I are both safe.”

“Me too.”

 

That e
vening we had our second dismissal ceremony. Craig showed up at the house to mingle and drink with the ladies. The first thing he did was take me aside, and I was glad as I got a chance to look at his wound. Tristan had gotten a good swipe in and, though the makeup artists had done their best to cover it up, his face wasn’t quite so pretty now. I was proud of the man I was growing to love.

“I wanted to talk to you,” the alpha said. The cameras were on us, and I wondered what he could possibly say without revealing to the world that something was happening between the producer and me. There was absolutely no way that Craig would allow anyone to think his position was being usurped by a lesser wolf or man.

I sat down next to him when Craig summoned me over to a bench, my body language dictating my disgust as I stayed as far away as I could.

“Could we try that again?”
asked a cameraman. “And this time, sit nearer to him, Nikki.”

“Sorry,”
I mumbled. We redid the take, and I sidled up far closer to the alpha than I wanted to.

“I find myself feeling very strongly for you, Nikki,” said Craig, insincerity oozing out of every pore. “I want you around at the end.
But I just want to make sure we’re on the same page.”

I looked at him, trying to figure out his game. Why would he want me around when I’d shown him such a lack of respect, regard, interest?

“Of course we’re on the same page,” I said, smiling sweetly. “I don’t want to leave here, ever.” I meant the last bit, anyhow.

“Good. I really like you, Nikki.”

“I’m glad,” was the most I could muster. That was the end of our conversation.

 

The dismissal ceremony saw the departure of two women. I got the impression that the powers that be were attempting now to accelerate the show’s progress, to get to the end more quickly. The question was whether that was Tristan’s or Craig’s doing.

I hardly saw
Tristan that evening; only through the odd doorway for a second at a time. I could tell that he’d been issued strict orders to stay away from me, and I knew that he’d adhere to the rules as long as he could stand to do so. I hated it, but at least I knew he was safe.

After we’d said our saccharine good-byes to the departing women, neither of whom I’d ever rea
lly spoken with, John Stone gathered the ten remaining candidates around.

“We have a special surprise for you tomorrow,” he said. “We’re heading into the woods, as a gro
up. We’re going to meet with Craig’s---and my---pack.”

Ooohs
and aaahs filled the room. A pack of sexy man-wolves is enough to get any woman excited, after all.

“If you’re lucky enough to end up
being Craig’s mate, you’ll need to know your way around shifters. Interacting with a pack of wolves isn’t for the faint of heart. They hunt, they protect, they kill. And they fight.”

The last sentence was odd; were we going to watch wolves go at one another? My curiosity was piqued, but I hoped that
Tristan wasn’t to be involved in any of it. If some other young wolf wanted to get into it with Craig, so be it.

 

The next day a stretch SUV came to pick the remaining women up and brought us into the mountains. We didn’t know where we were going, but my assumption was that the pack’s headquarters would be in the woods. After driving for about a half hour, the driver turned down a dirt road leading into the forest, which went on for a couple of miles, taking us deep into the undergrowth.

Finally he pulled up next to a large, very rustic-looking log cabin. It was dark and ancient-looking, and its only particularly distinctive feature was the front door, which was enormous. My assumption was that it was designed to accommodate the giant wolves who would be using it.

We got out of the vehicle one by one. We’d been told to wear sensible clothing, suitable for the outdoors, and I had on track pants and a t-shirt topped with a light hoodie. My hair was tied back in a ponytail. Of course, the sensible thing didn’t extend to our makeup which was as immaculately applied as ever.

As we stood outside facing the cabin with the camera crews around us, the door opened and a large, light brown wolf padded out. I hadn’t seen him before. He was handsome, but not as large as either
Tristan or Craig; he was thinner and less muscular-looking.

As he stood before us, two crew members approached him with a silk robe and wrapped it around his body before
he shifted into human form. It was John Stone.

Quickly they covered him, tying the robe in the front with a belt.

“Hello,
ladies.”

“Hi, John.” By now we were experts at replying in unison.

“Today you meet Craig’s pack. Normally on shows such as this one the important meetings involve family members, but this wolf pack is essentially Craig’s family. As such he wants to see you interact with them. There will be some challenges in place for you today, as you can imagine, and they won’t all be social.

“Our entire crew is made up of shifters, but since we need them to film,
you’ll only be meeting the ones who aren’t working on the show. And here they are.”

With that, wolf after wolf emerged from the house
until at least a dozen had come out. Each was enormous and distinctive from his packmates. They ranged in colour from black to blond to white, each striking in his own way.

I felt apprehension from the women around me, though Julia seemed calm as always. For my part I only felt curious; the wolves had never worried me and the shifting had never seemed to phase me. The
only issue I had with them was their seeming desire to kill one another, but even that appeared to be a simple instinct; part of their natures, and they didn’t seem to fear it so why should I? The animal within me was learning to understand and even embrace the will to protect, to fight, to vanquish. I wondered still if I was imagining it, a wolf inside me; if it would one day manifest itself in the form of a transformation on my part.

Members of the wardrobe staff emerged again with robes for each man. So this was to be a sort of pajama pa
rty in which we’d chat with strong males clad only in thin robes. This would be interesting indeed.

To my surprise, w
hen the wolves shifted a few were female. They were as striking and beautiful as the men were handsome, and all seemed to be powerful in their own way. One of them reminded me of myself, even. She was a big girl with large, bright eyes. Her wolf form, however, was sleek and powerful. I wondered if she had a different perception of her human body because her shifted form was so elegant. I decided to talk to her first.

Her name was Kyla and she was friendly, though I got the impression that there was a wariness in her. The cameras seemed to annoy her a little and now and then I felt her tense when they came close.

“What does it feel like to shift?” I asked her.


It hurts, I won’t lie. The first time it happened I was about eighteen. It was terrifying. But you get used to it. At first your body aches like anything, as you can imagine. But there’s something really liberating about getting to run as a wolf.”

“I’ll bet there
is.”

“I’m glad to see you here, you know,” she said
quietly. “You’re a proper woman. Thank God there’s at least one of you.”

I smiled. I liked her.
I looked around and noticed that Julia was making friends with a very handsome male, and it occurred to me that this may have been a bad idea on the part of the producers; these men were very attractive indeed, and the women were horny.

“Listen,” I said to Kyla under my breath, “What can you tell me about Craig? Why is he the alpha?”

“That’s a good question,” she said. I immediately got the impression that she wasn’t a fan. “He shouldn’t be, you know.”

“Why do you say that
?”

“The fight was thrown---the fight
they had to determine who was going to be the leader. It wasn’t right.”

I took Kyla by the arm and led her to the side of the cabin, away from cameras and microphones. I was shocked by this news.

“What do you mean, thrown?”

“Tristan was up for the position. The whole pack thought he should be alpha. Every single one of us.”

“And why isn’t he?”


It’s hard to explain; you’d have to ask him. But what I can tell you is that every shifter has instincts and Tristan is a protector. Craig is more an aggressor; he’s confrontational and controlling. Tristan thought that was better in an alpha because it means he can defend the pack without hesitation. But what he didn’t realize is that Craig is totally scatterbrained and irresponsible. I’m sure you know that by now. Tristan is focused, and his protective instinct would have served the pack well. But when the time came he gave the fight to Craig because he thought the pack would be better for it.”

“And you’re not
better, I take it?”

“Not really. No one’s really happy about this, and I think Tristan regrets the whole thing now but it’s too late.”

“What would have to happen for Tristan to become the alpha?”

“Well, the rules dictate that they’d have to fight
in front of the pack, or at least enough of the pack to approve the result. Tristan could challenge Craig again, but it would all have to be done formally, and the pack would have to vote on the outcome. But Tristan’s too protective of Craig to do that to him and take away his power.”

“I wonder why,” I said.

“It’s just how he is. He looks after people and he’s loyal. He’s a good man, our Tristan.”

“Yes, he is,” I said.

Kyla smiled at me now. “You like him a lot, don’t you?”

“Yeah. I do.”

 

John gathered the candidates
after we’d spent about half an hour chatting with pack members. He’d changed into a stuffy TV host suit by now.

“Ladies, it’s time for today’s challenge. If you’ll follow me behind the
cabin I’ll tell you what you need to do.”

Julia walked over to me, rubbing her hands together. “This is going to be good. I just know it,” she said, a glint in her eye that reminded me of the look I’d seen on
Tristan’s face before he’d pulled me into the pool.

Behind the cabin was a circular clearing. To its side was a sort of rack containing helmets and items that looked a little like
wooden broom handles with cushions attached to either end.

“Ladies, today you’re going to learn what it is to be a wolf fighting for supremacy. Of course, we shifters have large teeth and claws, and we wouldn’t want you biting each other” (snickers from the crowd) “but we’ll get you geared up and tell you the rules for the fight ahead.”

I wondered how nervous the fake-boobed women were. Even if the weapons were heavily padded, I imagined that you could do some serious damage to implants with them.

We were told to
use what they’d aptly named “clobbering sticks,” but to avoid hitting faces and breasts (which was a disappointment for me). They paired us up with opponents and the winner of each match would move on to fight someone else.

My first fight was against Joanna. I was somewhat pisse
d off at her for having ratted Tristan and me out for our frolicking in the pool, but I wasn’t about to unleash some sort of primordial fury on her. Just, I hoped, enough to win.

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